In what was either a watershed moment for the way extravagantly produced serialized entertainment is delivered to your eyeballs or merely a company trying to take on more than it’s able (possibly both!), Netflix announced on Friday that it reached a $100 million, two-season deal to produce and distribute “House of Cards,” a project starring Kevin Spacey and directed by David Fincher, who was last seen being bilked out of an Oscar by whoever helmed The King’s Queef.
Most observers have interpreted the move into original programming as a shot across the bow to premium cable outlets – especially HBO – which have been fretting that competition from online video services could cut into their revenue. And while that may be even more the case now, worry not – your precious David Simon shows and sexually explicit vampire dramas are safe.
One of the arguments cable networks and distributors like to make about the effect that Netflix — and online video in general — has on the broader TV ecosystem is that by disrupting current business models, Netflix is essentially destroying the engine through which high-quality content is created. That is, by drawing eyeballs elsewhere, Netflix and others could cripple the broadcast and cable networks’ ability to fund production of future shows. But Netflix’s bid shows that high-quality content will continue to find funding, even if it’s not through existing or traditional channels.
Welp, unless you have a tremendous amount of brand loyalty for HBO, or have yet to find a way to hook up your Netflix account to your [affects TV announcer voice] home gaming console [/unaffect] this should come as welcome or at least not particularly disastrous news to you, dear consumer.